An Idea That Will Please Practically Nobody

Guys...
guys
Guys listen.
I have the best ide
guys listen
I have the best idea ever
guys
I'll take the CLASSES
guys
classes
I'll take the CLASSES
guys listen here
I'll take the CLASSES... and homogenize them in template form, allowing people to pick and choose their abilities to prevent being straitjacketed by a title and role, thus allowing everybody to make the character they desire.

It seems to me that we're giving the Expertise system to every martial class at this point, so why not give it to every class entirely?  For that matter, why not give spells to every class?  Why not eliminate spells entirely?

Okay, so, like, I totally have this idea that practically nobody will like, but what if we had Expertise Dice, Hit Dice, Weapon Attack, Spell Attack, Save DC Bonus, and Spell Progresion set up in three different arrays where a player could in theory "make" their own class? 

For example, Array 1 would have Full Expertise Dice Progression, D10 Hit Die, Full Weapon Attack Progression, 1/3 Spell Attack Progression, 1/3 Save DC Bonus, and 1/3 Spell Progression

Array 2 would have 1/3 Expertise Progression, D6 Hit Die, 1/3 Weapon Attack Progression, Full Spell Attack Progression, Full Save DC Bonus, and Full Spell Progression

Array 3 would have 2/3 Expertise Progression, D8 Hit Die, 2/3 Weapon Attack Progression, 2/3 Spell Attack Progression, 2/3 DC Bonus, and 2/3 Spell Progression

Maneuvers and Spells could be selected from a compiled list like "Fighting Style" or specific magical schools, or perhaps make it more broad for simply arcane and divine magics.

I mean, Array 1 easily allows somebody to make a Paladin or Ranger with the proper choices, Array 2 easily applies Wizards and Cloth Clerics, and Array 3 applies to Bards and Assasins.

To ensure that we don't break the tradition of D&D, there could be a compilation list of the iconic classes like Fighter, Rogue, Wizard, Cleric, and whatnot, much like Specialties and Backgrounds.  This should in theory allow pick up and play type players to simply pick an array and play their character.

It would never, ever happen, would it?  I thought not.
I'm up for classless D&D with core classes being possible arrays pre-generated for simplicity.

It'll never happen.  We'll be lucky if we even get a 2nd Ed Skills & Powers point buy module by the end of DDN's life cycle.
If the core system was a classless system, in which players can construct classes using a point buy system, but offered Templates to be used as classes, people would loose their **** even though this is far superior and satisfies all camps.  Its an oddity of D&D that people insist on having piegon held classes in which they argue to the ends of the earth about what is or isn't broken in that class and how "wizards has to fix the rogue!!", yet they would reject a system in which they can create a template for a rogue in their own games anyway they like.  Somehow having an official class system that is rigid and no one can agree on anything is better than a point buy system where if you don't agree with the official template you can change.  It never made any sense to me at all, but yeah... good luck trying to get that message through to the community.

My Blog (The Gamers Think Tank)

"Edition wars like all debates exist because people like debates"

Of course I would be in favor of something like this.  Especially if you can work it so that all existing classes are just a subset of this, it would make a great module for "advanced" character design.
The metagame is not the game.

the 2e DMG presented rules that basically did this with the class abilities in the PHB. It worked well but they intentionally gimped it so the classes you produced were subpar but it wasn't too hard to reverse the sabotage.


Worked pretty well, but I still like classes.

I would, somehow, like something this system to be possible with multi/dual/hybrid classing rules.

Meaning, I decide I want to be a Fighter/Wizard. I would gain half of the total class features of my choosing (Weapon/Armor proficiency, ED, Spells, Style, Tradition etc.) or instead of one feature, gain two at half power (Spells and ED, for example). HD/Hit Points would be average.

You could even do it with three classes (Rogue Scheme, Fighter ED, Cleric Domain, etc).
Ack! What!? No this absolutely pleases no one! How dare you even waste teh internetz on such foolishness!?

;) 

Danny

If you could take this idea and break it down into sublevels, I'd be even happier.  Like where it may take 1-5 gaming sessions to hit the next level, but between each game you have the option to give the characters a small piece of what they are getting when they hit the next level.
Here's my problem with this idea.

There are classless systems already out there. I'm sure that they're great fun and work really well.

But ye gods, please, keep them away from my D&D.

It's a brand recognition thing. People see the name "D&D" and they can form certain assumptions about the system. These are the "core" elements that make D&D recognizable as D&D and not some other RPG system.

These core elements consist of things such as the d20 mechanic, the six stats, characters levelling up, and the race/class system.

So really, removing the classes from D&D is like suggesting that we remove the d20 from D&D. Sure, we could make a system without it. Other systems do it. But it just wouldn't be D&D.

Love them or hate them, classes are part of the D&D brand identity.
D&D Experience Level: Relatively new First Edition: 4th Known Editions: 4th, 3.5 --- Magic Experience Level: Fairly skilled First Expansion: 7th Edition Play Style: Very Casual
Here's my problem with this idea.

There are classless systems already out there. I'm sure that they're great fun and work really well.

But ye gods, please, keep them away from my D&D.

It's a brand recognition thing. People see the name "D&D" and they can form certain assumptions about the system. These are the "core" elements that make D&D recognizable as D&D and not some other RPG system.

These core elements consist of things such as the d20 mechanic, the six stats, characters levelling up, and the race/class system.

So really, removing the classes from D&D is like suggesting that we remove the d20 from D&D. Sure, we could make a system without it. Other systems do it. But it just wouldn't be D&D.

Love them or hate them, classes are part of the D&D brand identity.

And, just to prove Xguild's point, here's this guy.

I am completely for this idea.  DnD shouldn't be limited by these so called 'sacred cows'.  I'd rather have a great system in place that brought more people in.  Then they wouldn't have to go elsewhere for good gaming.

And if these could be designed to work in futuristic settings as well!  :P 
Here's my problem with this idea.

There are classless systems already out there. I'm sure that they're great fun and work really well.

But ye gods, please, keep them away from my D&D.

It's a brand recognition thing. People see the name "D&D" and they can form certain assumptions about the system. These are the "core" elements that make D&D recognizable as D&D and not some other RPG system.

These core elements consist of things such as the d20 mechanic, the six stats, characters levelling up, and the race/class system.

So really, removing the classes from D&D is like suggesting that we remove the d20 from D&D. Sure, we could make a system without it. Other systems do it. But it just wouldn't be D&D.

Love them or hate them, classes are part of the D&D brand identity.

And, just to prove Xguild's point, here's this guy.

I am completely for this idea.  DnD shouldn't be limited by these so called 'sacred cows'.  I'd rather have a great system in place that brought more people in.  Then they wouldn't have to go elsewhere for good gaming.

And if these could be designed to work in futuristic settings as well!  :P 

The trouble is that you have just reinvented GURPS.  GURPS is very fun, but it isn't D&D.  D&D is very fun, but it isn't GURPS.

While turning D&D into something more like GURPS might bring new people in (those who prefer such systems), it would be a longshot.  Those people already have systems that they play and enjoy, and they think of D&D as a class based RPG.  So in order to be successful, they would need to heavily advertise the fact that D&D was changing.  Furthermore, to many people, D&D means having classes as fundamental units.  Get rid of this, and the game no longer seems like D&D.

As usual, I'll put it into food terms.  D&D is a restaurant that offers distinct entrees.  GURPS is a buffet that has the basic elements of meals: raw meat, uncooked vegies, herbs & spices, etc; cusomers select what they want and then it is cooked up (like Flat Top Grill).  Both are really good, but at the same time distinct and different.  People who really enjoy Flat Top aren't even going to think about other restaurants that have always been the kind to serve distinct entrees.  And people who have been going to the other place for years will be shocked to walk in one day and see the buffet.

That said, there is nothing wrong with including this sort of thing in a separate book.

I had made an attempt at a class-lite D&DN here. I haven't touched it in a while, but it touches on some of what the OP is suggesting. I've been advocating making the core "classes" of DDN Martial, Magical, and Mixed, then constructing the previous edition classes from those (more like pre-built templates at that point). The result would still have the iconic classes of old, but allow for new ones that already had some measure of balance built in.

If there are ways to disengage the actual mechanics of classes, or at least provide similar alternates, then I feel it would be a nigh-total success. I like the idea of a magical class getting access to the ED mechanic for their spells. I liked the encounter power mechanic of 4e, and was fine with daily martial powers (no cognitive dissonance for me there). I would like to see at least an optional module for constructing your own class from core building blocks.

It can go too far, of course. I've played Marvel Superheroes a few times, and having the option to build any character you want does come with an extreme cost of decision paralysis. I wouldn't want to see class construction in "core". To be done right, it would be too much to just put a chapter for it in the DMG; it deserves an entire book for it. I liked the 2e skills and powers book, and while it was far from perfect, a DDN version of it would be a welcomed sight.

Magic Dual Color Test
I am White/Green
I am White/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.
Or perhaps this is the sort of class template the developers should use, and follow to create "balanced" classes... and then include an "Under The Hood" section at the end of the class section that details the template, and makes it available as an option to players.
------------------------
In fact, I'd say that given the "open" nature of this playtest... it would be a good idea to include an "Under The Hood" section at the back of most of the chapters.
I can agree with that, BatFett.
The trouble is that you have just reinvented GURPS.  GURPS is very fun, but it isn't D&D.  D&D is very fun, but it isn't GURPS.
[more text]
That said, there is nothing wrong with including this sort of thing in a separate book.

GURPS went too far, and IMO is not even close to fun, but to each there own. I agree a class-lite D&D as core would be a mistake, but only because too many people seem to fear the "GURPS effect" of building a class-based RPG from classless components. I don't want to see a reduction of core abilities, which is my #1 dislike of GURPS. The 6 core abilities of D&D feel like the right number, even if we should redistribute some of their related functions a bit (looking at Dex primarily, but other qualify).

Magic Dual Color Test
I am White/Green
I am White/Green
Take The Magic Dual Colour Test - Beta today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Personality Test Generator.
I am both orderly and instinctive. I value community and group identity, defining myself by the social group I am a part of. At best, I'm selfless and strong-willed; at worst, I'm unoriginal and sheepish.

@Batfett


Yeah some transparency in how classes are built in the published book would be cool. That's essentially what they did in the 2e DMG that I mentioned earlier but if they did it without the sabotage that'd be a fun tool.


As a world building resource that'd be awesome.

Or perhaps this is the sort of class template the developers should use, and follow to create "balanced" classes...

No dice, the people like me who want large amounts of contrast between classes would smell it from a mile away. Just look at the reactions to same ED progression for each class and sneak attack/deadly strike/flurry of blows.
I'd prefer to see something more like 2nd Edition Skills and Powers point buy (in a more refined and balanced form, of course) where each race and class was still distinct from the others, but there was lots of room for very granular customization within that race or class.

That said, I wouldn't be opposed to a completely freeform class-building system, either.

Both should be optional modules, though. Standard classes should be default.

I'm up for classless D&D with core classes being possible arrays pre-generated for simplicity.

It'll never happen.  We'll be lucky if we even get a 2nd Ed Skills & Powers point buy module by the end of DDN's life cycle.



Ditto, on all counts.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
It's a brand recognition thing. People see the name "D&D" and they can form certain assumptions about the system. These are the "core" elements that make D&D recognizable as D&D and not some other RPG system.


And since about 10,000 other RPG's out there have the exact same recognizable core features...

You do realize what you're saying hear means utterly nothing at all right?
The trouble is that you have just reinvented GURPS.

Her idea isn't quite that extreme.  It'd still be an FRPG, for instance, not a 'universal' one. 

It wouldn't even have to be officially classless, you could just have, well, more "classes" or more classes of classes. ;)

In another thread, someone suggested (again) having classes cover just the combat pillar with Backgrounds covering social and specialties (Themes) covering exploration.   Specialties aren't really up to the task, but, each character could have 3 classes, one for each pillar.  The number of permutations would make for a lot of customization, but, ultimately, balance and playability would be pillar-by-pillar, so it would be customization without the usual drawbacks of complexity and broken combos.  


The idea of a classless system is nothing new, but D&D could avail itself of some of the advantages of a classless system while retaining the traditional classes for the sake of nostalgia, and for the use of new/casual players not wanting to build their own...



 

 

Oops, looks like this request tried to create an infinite loop. We do not allow such things here. We are a professional website!

The trouble is that you have just reinvented GURPS.

Her idea isn't quite that extreme.  It'd still be an FRPG, for instance, not a 'universal' one. 

It wouldn't even have to be officially classless, you could just have, well, more "classes" or more classes of classes. ;)

In another thread, someone suggested (again) having classes cover just the combat pillar with Backgrounds covering social and specialties (Themes) covering exploration.   Specialties aren't really up to the task, but, each character could have 3 classes, one for each pillar.  The number of permutations would make for a lot of customization, but, ultimately, balance and playability would be pillar-by-pillar, so it would be customization without the usual drawbacks of complexity and broken combos.  

The idea of a classless system is nothing new, but D&D could avail itself of some of the advantages of a classless system while retaining the traditional classes for the sake of nostalgia, and for the use of new/casual players not wanting to build their own...




Agreed - it's nowhere close to GURPS.  Three different "arrays" to choose from? Compared with "here's 150 points, go to town".   

OTOH,  I remember when 3rd edition came out.. "Skill points? -- sounds like GURPS".  "Hmm - replacing all those funky die rolls (Thac0, saves etc) with the unified d20 system - sort of like the way GURPS uses 3d6 for everything."

D&D may have been the first RPG, but it's hardly been the trailblazer with regards to mechanics.  Nor has it remained in a bubble, uninfluenced by the works of other designers. 
I loved True 20's sorta classless system.
More like 3 archetypes, and it jsut effected available feats...

Anyway, it's not for everyone, but I think it would be a good option and could explore the flexibility of the system.

I'd buy that module. 
I have an answer for you, it may even be the truth.
As usual, I'll put it into food terms.  D&D is a restaurant that offers distinct entrees.  GURPS is a buffet that has the basic elements of meals: raw meat, uncooked vegies, herbs & spices, etc; cusomers select what they want and then it is cooked up (like Flat Top Grill).  Both are really good, but at the same time distinct and different.  People who really enjoy Flat Top aren't even going to think about other restaurants that have always been the kind to serve distinct entrees.  And people who have been going to the other place for years will be shocked to walk in one day and see the buffet.




>people who really enjoy Flat Top aren't even going to think about other restaurants

>will be shocked to walk in one day and see the buffet

Wait, what?
Is there a law that says we are only allowed to like one type of restaurant? Or that restaurants must only serve food in one specific way that can never be changed, even if that style outdated and unpopular?

What if we had a restaurant that lets you sit down and order pre-made entrees and ALSO had a buffet you could pick and choose from if you preferred that? That seems to be (metaphorically) what LadyBlackwell is proposing.



-A quick check of flat top grill's website menu reveals that they have pre-made appetizers and desert options.
-Many traditional sit-down restaurants feature salad bars and interchangeable side dishes.
-Add to that, most fast food restaurants offer both individual items and "combo" deals with preselected items. For an example, McDonalds does this and had a net revenue of $27 BILLION in 2011, and is one of the most recognizable brands on the planet. Love or hate the food there, this is a business model that WORKS.
"Ha! Rock beats scissors!" "Darn it! Rock is overpowered! I'm not playing this again until the next edition is released!" "C'mon, just one more." "Oh, all right..." "Wait, what is that?" "Its 'Dynamite' from the expanded rules." "Just because you can afford to buy every supplement that comes out..." "Hey, it's completely balanced! You're just a bad DM for not accommodating it."
Show
RPGs are getting more popular, and whenever something gets more popular, it inevitably changes, usually becoming more palatable to the masses. Nintendo is the perfect example. In the old days their games coined the term "Nintendo hard" to extend play time, but they knew their fans were dedicated enough to play anyway. Now they mostly make stuff a five year old can master. That's not necessarily bad, though. Most of those old Nintendo games were infuriating. Likewise, a lot of old RPGs were too complex and irritating for the average person to really get into. Rules light systems are going to get more popular as more people enter the hobby, simply because the new people aren't bound by nostalgia, and would rather play something easy and fun than something that takes a huge amount of effort to learn.
I won't mind a classless system, but you need well designed options and system for it (and more interesting options, so far everything on the playtest is so boring and dull for character options and abilities)...and to be fair...i don't have much faith for something like this with Mearls on the head of the game design (Meals 2 of his more infamous contribution for class options on 4th edition was the shroud assassin wish was terrible, underwhelming and just plain badly designed and the battle cleric options wish is extremly exploitable even by non clerics)
"classless" system can be easily built in D&D

just start at the base of classes(raise shield against "4 archetypes are icon of D&D")

mage
warrior
expert

then you just need to balance out max spell level of the classes, HD, magic and physical attack bonuses, number of skills and bonus special feats.

that way you can build your class from scratch.
The trouble is that you have just reinvented GURPS.

Her idea isn't quite that extreme.  It'd still be an FRPG, for instance, not a 'universal' one. 

It wouldn't even have to be officially classless, you could just have, well, more "classes" or more classes of classes. ;)

In another thread, someone suggested (again) having classes cover just the combat pillar with Backgrounds covering social and specialties (Themes) covering exploration.   Specialties aren't really up to the task, but, each character could have 3 classes, one for each pillar.  The number of permutations would make for a lot of customization, but, ultimately, balance and playability would be pillar-by-pillar, so it would be customization without the usual drawbacks of complexity and broken combos.  

The idea of a classless system is nothing new, but D&D could avail itself of some of the advantages of a classless system while retaining the traditional classes for the sake of nostalgia, and for the use of new/casual players not wanting to build their own...




Agreed - it's nowhere close to GURPS.  Three different "arrays" to choose from? Compared with "here's 150 points, go to town".   

OTOH,  I remember when 3rd edition came out.. "Skill points? -- sounds like GURPS".  "Hmm - replacing all those funky die rolls (Thac0, saves etc) with the unified d20 system - sort of like the way GURPS uses 3d6 for everything."

D&D may have been the first RPG, but it's hardly been the trailblazer with regards to mechanics.  Nor has it remained in a bubble, uninfluenced by the works of other designers. 

This, right here!

I tried pointing this out in another thread, but a grognard of epic proportions went into a froth-rage of "Go away, stop Ruining my Game!" 
I wish they'd go this route. It would solve the issue that is multi-classing. 
On a meta-note, I enjoy this thread because it proves that people are always willing to disagree with you, even when your only expectation is for them to not like some radical idea.
The metagame is not the game.
Hehe, how many class defending people have played wizard/thieves elves, fighter/cleric dwarves and else ?

In D&D, one of the sacred cows is to favor strict classes that you can mix with the less clunky mechanics possible, instead of being able to mix concepts from the start.

It's not a matter of logic, we are in the affective domain. This idea can't be taken well by a lot of people.
There are several issues with trying to completely negating classes.  The greater rise of the power gamer, homogenization of character abilities, and characters of bizarre/unrealistic archetypes are just a few.  That's not to say that you can completely stop the power gaming min maxer type...every group usually has 1d4 of them.  In 3e, I remember a group that had a fighter/mage/Eldritch Knight/Archmage, a power attacking fighter/rogue that specialized in the scythe and did MASSIVE damage more than a few times on sneak attack criticals, a Barbarian/frenzied berserker, a cleric(forget if he had any prestige classes, but no matter), and a bard...need I say more?  At least under the class structure, the frenzied berserker and uber mage knight(thats what I'm going to call the first one) couldn't also cast heal...   4e, at least in my opinion, did a pretty good job of controlling the power gamer, but progress must be made to keep this going while still maintaining the good parts of 3e, such as player freedom and customization.

Do away with the class system altogether and you will probably have players selecting many of the same skills, spells, and abilities.  You will also have players with some borked and unrealistic packages.  Sure, prerequisites would mitigate this a bit, but players are clever creatures

I like this idea. If something like it isn't in core, I hope it's in an Unearthed Arcana type of rules modules collection.
"What's stupid is when people decide that X is true - even when it is demonstrable untrue or 100% against what we've said - and run around complaining about that. That's just a breakdown of basic human reasoning." -Mike Mearls
Class in DnD is a sacred cow.  But only because if I wanted to play a classless system I would play another game such as the Hero system.  If classless option was modular I would find that perfectly acceptable.  
Please give me an example of an 'unrealistic' combination, as when one is dealing with a fantasy game, the word becomes nearly meaningless.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
Please give me an example of an 'unrealistic' combination, as when one is dealing with a fantasy game, the word becomes nearly meaningless.

Bob the adventurer

Hp: 1d12+con modifier
skill points: 8+int modifier

Features:
Divine Grace
Animal Companion
Eldritch Blast
sneak attack
Heavy Armor Proficiency
Weapon Specialization: Greatsword
Spells:

1- magic missile, cure light wounds, summon faerie, grease, barkskin, sleep
2-inflict moderate wounds, melf's acid arrow, scorching ray, invisibility, create pie
3-Fireball, cure serious wounds, holy smite, unholy blight, polymorph, call lightning
4-Inflict Critical Wounds, Ice Storm, Cure Critical Wounds, Stone Skin, create buffet, flame shield
5- Slay Living, Hold Monster, Cone of Cold, cure light wounds(mass)
6-Heal, Harm, Chain Lightning, disintegrate
7-cure serious(mass), Power Word: Kill, Summon Monster VII
8-Cure Critical(mass), Prismatic Spray
9-Mass Heal, Meteor Storm, Wail of the Banshee

Background:  Gourmet Cook
Feats: Every even level
"Bob, the Jack of all Trades".

Of course, to have earned all that, Bob would be a remarkably experienced character.  See, that's the thing with point buy ... you only have so many points, so you can be good at something, okay at a few somethings, or crappy at a whole lot of somethings.
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
"Bob, the Jack of all Trades".

Of course, to have earned all that, Bob would be a remarkably experienced character.  See, that's the thing with point buy ... you only have so many points, so you can be good at something, okay at a few somethings, or crappy at a whole lot of somethings.

I admit I was being a bit of a goofball with my example  (lots of overdramatization)  Points and prerequisites would never allow this, I know.  My other point is that it could like a mish-mash of skills/abilities that would not be a believable progression(even in a fantasy setting). 

So, bob is a master of the arcane, while being good with a greatsword and heavy armor, who sneak attacks his enemies, has the favor of his deity gaining bonuses to all saving throws while having both holy smite and unholy blight, an animal companion, eldritch blast for some random reason, all while being able to cook a really good cassarole for the king.  Yeah, point system would tone all this down substantially, but it doesn't make it any less ridiculous of a combination if he's less effective in these aspects. 

Making a point system would require a delicate balancing act.  If it isn't restrictive enough, you get the above.  If its too restrictive, then it is nothing more than a disguised class system.  I am really not opposed to non-class systems.  I have played games that use them a few times.  I just think that D&D is better served improving upon the class system.  In 3e and 3.5e, the edition that I played the most, the wizard and sorcerer were conceptually similar, but mechanically so very different to play.  They really could make some really good classes that do exactly that.  A templar class could play very different from a paladin and a shaman could play very differently than a cleric or druid, just as a sorcerer and warlock are different from a wizard.  The "point buy" system actually sort of exists in the create a custom class that your DM agrees is balanced and fits the campaign sort of way... 
Well, the groundwork for such an idea has already been laid in the form the the generic classes option in Unearthed Arcana(3e.) They have the expert, the spellcaster, and the warrior, and they are pretty much just base templates to change however you want. It's not something I ever used, or ever would use, but it isn't like it is some hyper-radical idea that D&D has never dabbled in before.
Well, the groundwork for such an idea has already been laid in the form the the generic classes option in Unearthed Arcana(3e.) They have the expert, the spellcaster, and the warrior, and they are pretty much just base templates to change however you want. It's not something I ever used, or ever would use, but it isn't like it is some hyper-radical idea that D&D has never dabbled in before.

True.  That's what I feel they should do yet again(I always disregarded that myself too, but to each their own).  Guidelines for this sort of thing should be in a secondary source for those who want it.  I'm just thinking they should keep classes as a core mechanic as opposed to using this as the new core...
"Bob, the Jack of all Trades".

Of course, to have earned all that, Bob would be a remarkably experienced character.  See, that's the thing with point buy ... you only have so many points, so you can be good at something, okay at a few somethings, or crappy at a whole lot of somethings.

I admit I was being a bit of a goofball with my example  (lots of overdramatization)  Points and prerequisites would never allow this, I know.  My other point is that it could like a mish-mash of skills/abilities that would not be a believable progression(even in a fantasy setting). 

So, bob is a master of the arcane, while being good with a greatsword and heavy armor, who sneak attacks his enemies, has the favor of his deity gaining bonuses to all saving throws while having both holy smite and unholy blight, an animal companion, eldritch blast for some random reason, all while being able to cook a really good cassarole for the king.  Yeah, point system would tone all this down substantially, but it doesn't make it any less ridiculous of a combination if he's less effective in these aspects. 

Making a point system would require a delicate balancing act.  If it isn't restrictive enough, you get the above.  If its too restrictive, then it is nothing more than a disguised class system.  I am really not opposed to non-class systems.  I have played games that use them a few times.  I just think that D&D is better served improving upon the class system.  In 3e and 3.5e, the edition that I played the most, the wizard and sorcerer were conceptually similar, but mechanically so very different to play.  They really could make some really good classes that do exactly that.  A templar class could play very different from a paladin and a shaman could play very differently than a cleric or druid, just as a sorcerer and warlock are different from a wizard.  The "point buy" system actually sort of exists in the create a custom class that your DM agrees is balanced and fits the campaign sort of way... 



This boils down to what I call Internal Balance vs External Balance.  Internal Balance is imposed by the game system.  External Balance is imposed by the GM.  With a point buy system, you have to rely on external balance; the GM needs to look at things and just say 'no' (or, alternately, if he doesn't, he's got nobody to blame but himself).
Another day, another three or four entries to my Ignore List.
"Bob, the Jack of all Trades".

Of course, to have earned all that, Bob would be a remarkably experienced character.  See, that's the thing with point buy ... you only have so many points, so you can be good at something, okay at a few somethings, or crappy at a whole lot of somethings.

I admit I was being a bit of a goofball with my example  (lots of overdramatization)  Points and prerequisites would never allow this, I know.  My other point is that it could like a mish-mash of skills/abilities that would not be a believable progression(even in a fantasy setting). 

So, bob is a master of the arcane, while being good with a greatsword and heavy armor, who sneak attacks his enemies, has the favor of his deity gaining bonuses to all saving throws while having both holy smite and unholy blight, an animal companion, eldritch blast for some random reason, all while being able to cook a really good cassarole for the king.  Yeah, point system would tone all this down substantially, but it doesn't make it any less ridiculous of a combination if he's less effective in these aspects. 

Making a point system would require a delicate balancing act.  If it isn't restrictive enough, you get the above.  If its too restrictive, then it is nothing more than a disguised class system.  I am really not opposed to non-class systems.  I have played games that use them a few times.  I just think that D&D is better served improving upon the class system.  In 3e and 3.5e, the edition that I played the most, the wizard and sorcerer were conceptually similar, but mechanically so very different to play.  They really could make some really good classes that do exactly that.  A templar class could play very different from a paladin and a shaman could play very differently than a cleric or druid, just as a sorcerer and warlock are different from a wizard.  The "point buy" system actually sort of exists in the create a custom class that your DM agrees is balanced and fits the campaign sort of way... 



This boils down to what I call Internal Balance vs External Balance.  Internal Balance is imposed by the game system.  External Balance is imposed by the GM.  With a point buy system, you have to rely on external balance; the GM needs to look at things and just say 'no' (or, alternately, if he doesn't, he's got nobody to blame but himself).

Entirely true.  I never meant that what you are describing wouldn't work or wouldn't work well.  I am merely pointing out some of the dangers.  DMs have a lot on their shoulders.  They have to uphold the mechanics and rules of the game, handle unexpected situations as they arise, improvise at a moment's notice when a player wants to do something he/she could not have anticipated, and many other responsibilities. 

That's why I believe that the core rules should be helpful to the DM in terms of internal balance.  Being a DM isnt easy and inexperienced ones need all the help they can get.  Secondary materials can always broaden and loosen certain aspects of the rules, making things less rigid if desired and shifting more toward external balance.